How Far Was the First World War the Main Cause of the Fall of the Romanovs in Feb 1917?

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How far was the First World War responsible for the downfall of the Romanovs in 1917? Mikhail Romanov founded the Romanov dynasty in 1613, when he was unanimously elected Tsar of Russia by a national assembly. However, in 1917, the rule of the Romanovs came to an abrupt end, as Tsar Nicholas II abdicated. His train, on its way to Petrograd so that he could attempt to take control over the strikes and demonstrations that had gripped the city, was stopped by anti-government soldiers, who had gained control of the line. The Tsar was then visited by members of the State Duma and asked to abdicate, which he did, and which he also did on behalf of his haemophiliac son, Alexei. The First World War was undoubtedly an important factor that contributed to this decision – but were there others, and which was the most significant? The First World War was responsible for the downfall of the Romanovs in four main ways. Firstly, the loss of agricultural workers and horses to the army, combined with the takeover of railway lines by the army, led to food shortages in towns and cities due to poor internal communications. Moscow, for example, had been receiving 2,200 railway wagons of grain per month in 1914, but by Christmas 1916, this figure was down to around 300 wagons. Therefore, there was not enough food to feed the people of Russia – and to make matters worse, rationing was in place, under which each person was entitled to a mere 50g of bread per day. This resulted in the people of Russia becoming agitated and taking part in the strikes and demonstrations in Petrograd, which led to the abdication of the Tsar. Secondly, the First World War crippled the Russian economy. The country mobilised 5.3 million men (9% of the population) in 1914, and, by Christmas 1916, 15.3 million men had experienced military service. The cost of fighting the war and of maintaining such a large
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